The collection of twenty-one articles creates a multidimensional portrait of western women. The pioneer women presented here were actors in their own lives, not passive participants in their husbands’ ventures. They were hardy seekers who came west, sometimes alone, in search of jobs, freedom, or land to homestead. They were political activists who worked tirelessly to win the right to vote and to hold political office. They adapted in practical ways to their own and their families’ economic and personal needs in a new environment.
The American West looms large in popular imagination — a place where men were rugged nd independent, violent and courageous. In this mythic West all the men were white, and the women were largely absent. The few female actors played supporting roles around the edges of the drama. Molded by the Victorian Cult of True Womanhood, they were passive, dependent , reluctant, and out of place. Men “won” the West. Women, against their better judgement, followed them to this “newly discovered” place and tried to re-create the amenities of the urban East.
ISBN – 978-0-8061-2067-6
The University of Oklahoma Press, 1987